Hug Me by Simona Ciraolo.
This picture book follows the most adorable cactus named Felipe. It had me at cactus named Felipe! Also, those rosy cheeks!
Felipe wants something, as the title tells us. A hug. But his family isn’t huggy. You know the kind. Poor, Felipe!
Felipe has to look outside his circle of succulents for a hug. Only that doesn’t work out too great either.
One of the things I like about this picture book—aside from its adorableness!—is that it’s honest. Felipe doesn’t fit in his family. And his family doesn’t change. Instead, he needs to find his own kindred spirit, which is sometimes the truth. So I want to give Simona Ciraolo and Flying Eye Books a great big hug for that!
Eventually, Felipe finds someone else who’s in need of a hug too! And that someone else won’t be bothered by Felipe’s spiny physique! I guarantee the last page of this spread will make you want to give your friend, your child, your partner, or your pet a heartfelt squeeze immediately.
Hug Me is a book about being yourself, getting your needs met, and finding a kindred soul. All in a super cute package. Well done!
Thanks to Flying Eye Books for images!
Felipe the cactus is oh so cute, I had to craft a cactus character to hug in real life!
And this one’s not prickly at all! A felt Felipe also serves another purpose. That little cactus is a reminder to hug someone you love and not worry about the cacti who are too prickly to give you a fair shake.
1. Cut a square piece of felt into a rectangle. (Mine was about 6 x 9.5″)
2. Draw Felipe’s face on the middle lower portion of the rectangle. (I used a fabric marker but I’m pretty sure a Sharpie would work.)
3. Trace two small circles on the tissue paper and cut them out. (I traced the marker cap for sizing.)
4. Cut out a small square of tissue paper and wad it on one end so it resembles a flower.
5. Glue the circles onto the cactus’s cheeks and the flower onto its head.
6. Cut a piece of thick twine and coil it. Then tie a knot around one part of the coil. (There’s a lot of finesse in this craft rather than it being precise. Play around!)
7. Finally, fold and tuck the felt into a cactusy-paddle shape and insert the bottom into the twine. Voila! (I realized afterward that you could stuff the cactus shape with tissue paper if you desire.)
What a cutie-pie cactus who deserves a mini-hug!